Criterion may be focused on the Need for Speed series at present, but that does not mean the company is abandoning its Burnout franchise. Speaking to The Guardian, Criterion creative director Craig Sullivan pledged the Guildford, London studio will return to the series at some point in the future.
"There's still a lot of stuff we want to do with driving," Sullivan said. "We will make another Burnout game at some point. Obviously, as we're working on NFS we're thinking of really good ideas that aren't right for this series; there are ideas that we're going to explore with Burnout. And we wouldn't be making NFS or Burnout games if we didn't think the driving genre had a long shelf life and that we could push the boundaries."
The most recent core Burnout game Criterion made was 2008's Burnout Paradise. The studio took the franchise to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in 2011 with Burnout Crash, and is currently wrapping up development on Need for Speed: Most Wanted, due out October 30.
As for where Criterion may head in the future, Sullivan teased that the studio may develop something without vehicles at all, but a Road Rash game is more likely.
"We might make a Road Rash game…But then we might make a game without vehicles in it," he said. "I mean, we made Black, I was the lead designer; we might make a game about blowing the crap out of each other. But Road Rash seems like a good fit for Criterion…"
In 2009, Electronic Arts re-trademarked Road Rash, but nothing has come of it since.